70s The Best '70s Spy Movies  

Ranker Film
656 votes 218 voters 6.5k views 46 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite espionage films that were released in the 1970s

In a way, the espionage genre did not develop much from the ‘60s to the ‘70s. Like their predecessors, the best '70s spy movies are a mix of American grit, British suave, and Cold War realpolitik. With Cold War fears lessening slightly compared to the previous decade, spy movies still often focused on Russian defectors, nuclear annihilation, and East German intrigue.


Many of the greatest ‘70s spy movies feature everyone’s favorite MI6 operative, James Bond. Portrayed by Roger Moore, Bond had a big decade, appearing in five films including
The Man with the Golden Gun and The Spy Who Loved Me, later to be parodied by Mike Meyers in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. American filmmakers took on the espionage genre as well, a choice example being Three Days of the Condor. Directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Robert Redford as a CIA agent who doesn’t know who to trust, the film garnered critical acclaim and remains a spy movie classic.


Vote up the best '70s spy movies, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comment section. 
list ordered by

1
38 4
The Day of the Jackal is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
weik added Derek Jacobi, Edward Fox, Donald Sinden The Day of the Jackal is a 1973 Anglo-French thriller film directed by Fred Zinnemann and starring Edward Fox and Michael Lonsdale. Based on the 1971 novel The Day of the Jackal by Frederick ...more

2
43 6
Three Days of the Condor is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
Robert Redford, Faye Dunaway, Max von Sydow Three Days of the Condor is a 1975 American political thriller film directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Robert Redford, Faye Dunaway, Cliff Robertson, and Max von Sydow. The screenplay by ...more

3
49 8
The Spy Who Loved Me is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
Roger Moore, Barbara Bach, Caroline Munro The Spy Who Loved Me is the tenth spy film in the James Bond series, and the third to star Roger Moore as the fictional secret agent James Bond. It was directed by Lewis Gilbert and the ...more

4
43 8
Live and Let Die is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
Jane Seymour, Roger Moore, Yaphet Kotto This film is the eighth spy film in the James Bond series to be produced by Eon Productions, and the first to star Roger Moore as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. Produced by Albert R. ...more

5
34 7
The Man with the Golden Gun is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
Christopher Lee, Roger Moore, Britt Ekland The Man with the Golden Gun is the ninth spy film in the James Bond series and the second to star Roger Moore as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. A loose adaptation of Ian Fleming's novel of ...more

6
33 7
Diamonds Are Forever is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
Sean Connery, Sammy Davis, Jr. Diamonds Are Forever is the seventh spy film in the James Bond series by Eon Productions, and the sixth and final Eon film to star Sean Connery as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. The film is ...more

7
36 12
Moonraker is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
Roger Moore, Lois Chiles, Richard Kiel Moonraker is the eleventh spy film in the James Bond series, and the fourth to star Roger Moore as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. The third and final film in the series to be directed by ...more

8
25 6
Scorpio is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
Burt Lancaster, Alain Delon, Paul Scofield Scorpio is a 1973 spy film directed by Michael Winner. It stars Burt Lancaster, Alain Delon and Paul Scofield.

9
21 4
The Mackintosh Man is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
Paul Newman, Harry Andrews, Dominique Sanda The Mackintosh Man is a 1973 British-American cold war spy thriller film, directed by John Huston and starring Paul Newman, Dominique Sanda and James Mason.

10
26 9
Enter the Dragon is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
weik added Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung Enter the Dragon is a 1973 Hong Kong martial arts action film directed by Robert Clouse; starring Bruce Lee, John Saxon and Jim Kelly. The film was released on 26 July 1973 in Hong Kong. He was ...more

11
19 4
The Eagle Has Landed is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
Robert Duvall, Michael Caine, Donald Sutherland The Eagle Has Landed is a 1976 British film directed by John Sturges and starring Michael Caine, Donald Sutherland and Robert Duvall. Based on the novel The Eagle Has Landed by Jack Higgins, the ...more

12
15 5
Telefon is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
Charles Bronson, Lee Remick, Donald Pleasence Telefon is a 1977 spy film, starring Charles Bronson, Donald Pleasence and Lee Remick. It was directed by Don Siegel. The film is based on a 1975 novel about mind control, by Walter Wager.

13
11 6
The In-Laws is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
Alan Arkin, Peter Falk, Ed Begley The In-Laws is a 1979 American action-comedy film starring Alan Arkin and Peter Falk, written by Andrew Bergman and directed by Arthur Hiller. The film was remade in 2003, with Michael Douglas, ...more

14
7 4
The Kremlin Letter is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
Orson Welles, Max von Sydow, George Sanders The Kremlin Letter is an American spy film directed by John Huston, starring Richard Boone, Orson Welles, Max von Sydow, Bibi Andersson, Patrick O'Neal and George Sanders. It was released in ...more

15
7 4
The Groundstar Conspiracy is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
The Groundstar Conspiracy George Peppard, Michael Sarrazin, James Olson The Groundstar Conspiracy is a 1972 film directed by Lamont Johnson. It stars George Peppard and Michael Sarrazin. Douglas Heyes' screenplay was adapted very freely from L. P. Davies' 1968 ...more

16
6 4
The Black Windmill is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
Michael Caine, Donald Pleasence, John Vernon The Black Windmill is a 1974 British spy thriller directed by Don Siegel and starring Michael Caine, John Vernon, Janet Suzman and Donald Pleasence. It was produced by Richard D. Zanuck and ...more

17
5 5
The Thirty Nine Steps is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
John Mills, Robert Powell, Timothy West The Thirty Nine Steps is a British 1978 thriller film directed by Don Sharp, with screenplay by British playwright, Michael Robson, based on the novel The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan. It ...more

18
4 4
Avalanche Express is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
Lee Marvin, Linda Evans, Robert Shaw Avalanche Express is a 1979 cold war adventure thriller film produced and directed by Mark Robson, about the struggle over a defecting Russian general. It starred Lee Marvin, Robert Shaw, ...more

19
3 3
One of Our Dinosaurs Is Missin... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
Helen Hayes, Peter Ustinov, Jon Pertwee One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing is a 1975 comedy film, which is set in the early 1920s, about the theft of a dinosaur skeleton from the Natural History Museum. The film was produced by Walt ...more

20
3 3
The Spook Who Sat by the Door is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
Paula Kelly, J. A. Preston, Jack Aaron The Spook Who Sat by the Door is a 1973 film based on the 1969 novel of the same name by Sam Greenlee. It is both a satire of the civil rights struggle in the United States of the late 1960s and ...more

21
2 2
Le Magnifique is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
weik added Jacqueline Bissett, Jean-Paul Belmondo Le Magnifique is a French movie released in 1973, starring Jacqueline Bisset and Jean-Paul Belmondo. Le Magnifique is a slapstick spoof of B-series espionage movies and novels.

22
2 2
Russian Roulette is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
George Segal, Louise Fletcher, Denholm Elliott Russian Roulette is a 1975 drama film directed by Lou Lombardo.

23
6 7
The Tall Blond Man with One Bl... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
Mireille Darc, Jean Rochefort, Bernard Blier The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe is a 1972 French comedy film directed by Yves Robert, written by Francis Veber, starring Pierre Richard, Jean Rochefort and Bernard Blier. The film's ...more

24
5 6
Darling Lili is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
Julie Andrews, Rock Hudson, Lance Percival Darling Lili is a 1970 American musical film. The screenplay was written by William Peter Blatty and Blake Edwards, who also directed. It starred Julie Andrews, Rock Hudson, and Jeremy Kemp. It ...more

25
4 5
Puppet on a Chain is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
Puppet on a Chain Barbara Parkins, Alexander Knox, Sven-Bertil Taube Puppet on a Chain is a 1971 British thriller film directed by Geoffrey Reeve and starring Sven-Bertil Taube, Barbara Parkins and Alexander Knox. It is based on the novel Puppet on a Chain by ...more

26
4 5
The Tamarind Seed is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
Julie Andrews, Omar Sharif, Anthony Quayle The Tamarind Seed is a 1974 American-British romantic drama film written and directed by Blake Edwards and starring Julie Andrews and Omar Sharif. Based on the 1971 novel The Tamarind Seed by ...more

27
2 3
The Phynx is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
Richard Pryor, Joe Louis, Dorothy Lamour The Phynx is a 1970 comedy film directed by Lee H. Katzin about a rock and roll band named The Phynx and their mission in foreign affairs. The group is sent to the country of Albania to locate ...more

28
2 3
Zeppelin is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
Elke Sommer, Michael York, Anton Diffring Zeppelin is a 1971 British World War I action-drama directed by Étienne Périer. The film stars Michael York, Elke Sommer and Anton Diffring. Zeppelin depicts a fictitious German ...more

29
1 2
Extreme Close-Up is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
Jim McMullan, Regis Cordic, Katherine Woodville Extreme Close-Up is a 1973 film directed by Jeannot Szwarc and written by Michael Crichton. It deals with privacy in an ever growing technological age.

30
1 2
The Human Factor is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
Richard Attenborough, John Gielgud, Iman Abdulmajid The Human Factor is a 1979 British thriller film starring Richard Attenborough, Nicol Williamson, Derek Jacobi and John Gielgud. It is based on the 1978 novel of the same name by Graham Greene, ...more

31
1 2
Journey into Fear is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
Orson Welles, Dolores del Río, Joseph Cotten Journey into Fear is a 1943 American spy film based on the Eric Ambler novel of the same name. The film broadly follows the plot of the book, but the protagonist was changed to an American ...more

32
1 2
The Doll Squad is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
Tura Satana, Michael Ansara, Anthony Eisley The Doll Squad is a 1973 low-budget action film Z movie by Feature-Faire that was later re-released under the title Seduce and Destroy. Directed, edited, co-written and co-produced by Ted V. ...more

33
1 2
The Amsterdam Kill is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
Robert Mitchum, Leslie Nielsen, Bradford Dillman The Amsterdam Kill is a 1977 film directed by Robert Clouse. It stars Robert Mitchum and Richard Egan.

34
2 4
S*P*Y*S is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould, Nigel Hawthorne S*P*Y*S is a 1974 comedy about two bumbling men who are spies and targeted for elimination by the KGB. The film was directed by Irvin Kershner, and stars Elliott Gould, Donald Sutherland, and ...more

35
1 3
Sex & Fury is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
weik added Christina Lindberg, Reiko Ike, Akemi Negishi Sex & Fury, translated Story of Delinquent Female Boss: o-Chō Inoshika, is a 1973 Japanese action-thriller film directed by Norifumi Suzuki and starring Reiko Ike. It was followed by Female ...more

36
1 3
Innocent Bystanders is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
Stanley Baker Innocent Bystanders is a 1972 spy thriller directed by Peter Collinson that was filmed in Spain and Turkey. It stars Stanley Baker and Geraldine Chaplin. The screenplay was written by James ...more

37
1 3
Mrs. Pollifax-Spy is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
Rosalind Russell, Darren McGavin, John Beck Mrs. Pollifax-Spy is a comedy film directed by Leslie H. Martinson, starring Rosalind Russell and Darren McGavin, and released by United Artists. This was Russell's last theatrical film role, ...more

38
1 3
The Internecine Project is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
James Coburn, Lee Grant, Keenan Wynn The Internecine Project is a 1974 British espionage thriller film written by Mort W. Elkind, Barry Levinson, and Jonathan Lynn, directed by Ken Hughes and starring James Coburn and Lee Grant. ...more

39
0 2
Loaded Guns is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
Ursula Andress, Woody Strode, Lino Banfi Loaded Guns is a 1975 Italian action movie.

40
0 2
The Rhinemann Exchange is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
The Rhinemann Exchange is a mini-series from Best Sellers television series.

41
0 2
The Salzburg Connection is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
Anna Karina, Udo Kier, Barry Newman The Salzburg Connection is a 1972 American thriller film directed by Lee H. Katzin, starring Barry Newman and Anna Karina. It is based on a novel by Helen MacInnes.

42
0 2
The Amazing Dobermans is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
The Amazing Dobermans Barbara Eden, Fred Astaire, Billy Barty The Amazing Dobermans is a 1976 American film. It is a sequel to The Doberman Gang and The Daring Dobermans.

43
0 2
The Return of the Tall Blond M... is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
weik added Mireille Darc, Jean Rochefort, Pierre Richard Le Retour du Grand Blond is a film directed by Yves Robert, in 1974. It is the continuation of Le Grand Blond avec une chaussure noire.

44
0 2
The Next Man is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
Sean Connery, Lance Henriksen, Adolfo Celi The Next Man is a 1976 American political action thriller film starring Sean Connery, Adolfo Celi, Cornelia Sharpe and Charles Cioffi. Critical reaction at its opening was not positive. Music ...more

45
0 3
Salon Kitty is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
weik added Helmut Berger, John Ireland, Ingrid Thulin Salon Kitty is a 1976 drama film directed by Tinto Brass.

46
0 3
Double Agent 73 is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best '70s Spy Movies
Harry Reems, Chesty Morgan, Saul Meth Double Agent 73 is a 1974 movie melodrama directed by Doris Wishman, starring Chesty Morgan, although her voice was dubbed due to her thick Polish accent. It was written by Judy J. Kushner. This ...more